Women’s marches in Hawaii and around the world show solidarity for women’s rights
The health and safety of children, access to healthcare, and protecting women from violence is the focus of a House-Senate joint package of bills submitted this session by the Women’s Legislative Caucus. The caucus consists of women members from the state Senate and House and county councils.
Members of the Women’s Legislative Caucus seek to promote sound legislation that represent the diverse interests of women across the state and improve the well-being of women, children and families.
“I want all women in Hawaii to know that they have rights and that those rights will be protected under the law,” said Representative Della Au Belatti (Makiki, Tantalus, Papakolea, McCully, Pawaa, Manoa). “I was proud to take part in the Women’s March in Honolulu to show that we stand together and will be heard.”
“By coming together as the Women’s Legislative Caucus, we’re able to focus on measures that make positive changes in our communities,” said Senator Rosalyn Baker (South and West Maui). “When we create equal access to healthcare and opportunities for the women and children of Hawaii, we create healthier and safer communities for everyone.”
“This package of bills covers two main areas that continue to be important to all women in the State of Hawaii including access to health care and decreasing violence against women,” said Representative Lauren Matsumoto (Schofield, Mokuleia, Waialua, Kunia, Waipio Acres, Mililani). “We continue to propose legislation that will protect and make life better for women.”
Many of the issues addressed within the caucus package reflect the concerns of women nationwide. Several state legislators joined in the Women’s March held in cities across Hawaii, the nation and around the world, in support of gender equality and civil.
5 generations of women march in Hilo at the Women’s March to Washington
“It was empowering and gratifying to be a part of the historic Women’s March in Washington D.C.,” said Senator Laura Thielen (Waimanalo, Hawaii Kai). “The work we do at the state level to ensure that women’s rights are not diminished will be an important step in taking action on the message of unity and solidarity demonstrated over the weekend.”
A full list of official measures in the Women’s Legislative Caucus’s package for the current biennium is available on the Capitol website at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/advreports/advreport.aspx?report=package&pkey=12&year=2017&name=Women%27s%20Legislative%20Caucus .
The House and Senate bills submitted by the Women’s Legislative Caucus for the 2017 session include:
ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTH CARE
HB663/SB501 Relating to Limited Service Pregnancy Centers
Requires all limited service pregnancy centers to disclose the availability of and enrollment information for reproductive health services. Establishes privacy and disclosure requirements for individual records and information. Authorizes civil penalties and civil actions for enforcement and remedy.
HB664/SB502 Relating to In Vitro Fertilization Insurance Coverage
Removes discriminatory requirements for mandatory insurance coverage of in vitro fertilization procedures to create parity of coverage for same-sex couples, unmarried women, and male-female couples for whom male infertility is the relevant factor.
HB665/SB503 Relating to Health Insurance for Victims of Sexual Violence
Requires health insurance coverage for case management services by licensed mental health providers for victims of sexual violence.
HB666/SB504 Relating to Controlled Substances
Limits initial prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines to a maximum of seven consecutive days.
HB667/SB505 Relating to Opioid Therapy Informed Consent Process
Requires an opioid therapy informed consent process agreement to be executed between a patient and any prescriber of opioids within the State under certain conditions. Requires the administrator of the narcotics enforcement division to develop and make available a template of an opioid therapy informed consent process agreement for use in the State. Specifies the contents of the template. Limits initial prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines to a maximum of seven consecutive days.
ADDRESSING AND REDUCING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
HB668/SB506 Relating to Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits
Requires annual reporting to the legislature by the AG of statistical data pertaining to the testing of sexual assault evidence collection kits. Provides certain rights to sexual assault survivors. Institutes mandatory testing requirements in accordance with AG guidelines. Requires AG to report to 2018 legislature on the progress of implementing AG guidelines.
HB669/SB507 Relating to Domestic Abuse
Removes redundant investigating and reporting requirements of the Department of Human Services and the family courts in cases where temporary restraining orders are sought for alleged domestic abuse involving a family or household member who is a minor or incapacitated person.
HB670/SB508 Relating to Tax Credit
Creates the Hawaii Working Family Tax Credit, a refundable credit capped at 10 percent of the federal earned income tax credit.
HB671/SB509 Relating to Equal Pay
Prohibits enforced wage secrecy and retaliation or discrimination against employees who disclose, discuss, or inquire about their own or co-workers’ wages.
CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND SAFETY
HB672/SB510 Relating to Hawaii Keiki: Healthy and Ready to Learn Program
Formally establishes the Hawaii keiki: healthy and ready to learn program within the department of education. Establishes a special fund and appropriates $4,000,000 to expand and sustain the program.
HB673/SB511 Relating to Child Care Facilities
Requires DHS to publish reports of child care facility inspections and complaint investigations on DHS’s website. Creates an oversight committee for implementation of and compliance with publication requirements. Requires annual reporting to the Legislature. Makes an appropriation.
HB674/SB512 Relating to Child Care Providers
Requires all child care providers subject to regulation by the Department of Human Services to obtain and maintain liability insurance as a condition of licensure, temporary permission, or registration.
HB675/SB513 Relating to Contraceptive Supplies
Authorizes pharmacists to prescribe and dispense self-administered hormonal contraceptive supplies to patients, regardless of a previous prescription from an authorized prescriber. Specifies requirements pharmacists must meet prior to prescribing and dispensing contraceptive supplies.
HB676/SB514 Relating to Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
Authorizes pharmacists to prescribe and administer the human papillomavirus vaccine to persons between eleven and seventeen years of age. Specifies requirements pharmacists must meet prior to administering the human papillomavirus vaccine.
HB677/SB515 Relating to In Vitro Fertilization Procedure Coverage
Amends insurance coverage requirements for in vitro fertilization to allow for expanded applicability.
HB678/SB516 Relating to Family Leave and Domestic Violence
Allows an employee to take family leave in addition to victim leave when the leave is related to domestic or sexual violence against the employee or the employee’s minor child. Requires an employee to submit certification related to domestic or sexual violence of the employee or the employee’s minor child. Requires employer confidentiality of information related to domestic or sexual violence against the employee or the employee’s minor child.
HB679/SB517 Relating to Domestic Violence Training for State and County Employees
Requires any state or county agency to provide domestic abuse intervention training to their personnel whose job duties require or may require intervention in a domestic abuse situation.
HB680/SB518 Relating to Intimate Partner Violence
Requires licensees under the board of barbering and cosmetology to complete a one-time, one-hour training program on intimate partner violence awareness and education.
HB681/SB519 Relating to Officer-involved Domestic Violence
Specifies that citizen complaints against a police officer that involve allegations of domestic abuse against a family or household member on the part of the police officer shall not be required to be in writing or sworn to by the complainant.
HB682/SB520 Relating to Police Commissions
Amends the composition of the county police commissions to require that three commissioners on each police commission have backgrounds, including equality for women, civil rights, and law enforcement, for the benefit of the public.
HB683/SB521 Relating to Paid Leave
Establishes a 6-week paid maternity and paternity leave policy for government employees to ensure that Hawaii’s working families are adequately supported during times of needing to provide care to a newborn or bond with a new child.
HB684/SB522 Relating to Safe Sleep Policy
Strengthens the safe sleep policy for child care facilities for children less than one year of age, including requiring placement of children on their backs for sleeping and establishing notice and annual training requirements; requires such facilities to report death of such a child to DHS.
HB685/SB523 Relating to Civil Actions for Sexual Offenses Against Minors
Allows a civil action for recovery of damages to be brought by persons subjected to sexual offenses as a minor against the person who committed the act at any time by repealing the statute of limitations. Repeals the period during which a victim of child sexual abuse may bring an otherwise time-barred civil action against the victim’s abuser or an entity with a duty of care, including the State and counties.
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